Homework for four-year-olds?

That’s my four-year-old’s homework.  She drew the Three Little Pigs inside their house, only it really looks like a drawing of the Little Men instead of the famous pigs.

They were supposed to draw their own characters of their own version of the story.  There was also direction that we (the parents) could also write down what our child says about their picture, or help them write it down and they would be happy to read it (or so they say).

I love my daughter’s school.  It’s a small-school village with a population of probably only about 50 students.  All the little children look after each other and since little T is the smallest and youngest, everyone looks out for her.

When we take her to school and pick her up, there is always a chorus of “Hi T!” or “Bye T!” depends on her mood, she’d either shyly wave back or hide her face in her dad’s leg.

And her teacher Miss O, is absolutely lovely!  And so are the teachers-assistants who have been really patient with her as it took some time for her to feel really settled in school.

But homework?  I’m wondering, aren’t they a little bit too young for that?

My little T loves drawing.  She’ll do it spontaneously and really well.

But when “forced”, she’ll draw something haphazardly as seen above.

I’m wondering though, isn’t it a bit too early for them to have homework?

What do you think?


  1. thereadingresidence

    That is cute, though! Boo gets homework on a Friday, with phonics, a tricky word book and a reading book, and I have to say that she loves it! We’ve yet to have any drawings or projects to do, as she does things like that at school x

    • I’m glad Boo is enjoying homework 🙂 As for little T, let’s just say her drawings aren’t as good as when done spontaneously 😉

  2. Kim Carberry

    Sometimes they do seem so young to be doing homework but I think a little bit from a young age will prepare them for when they are older when they get more…..

    • I agree. But maybe save the homework for the next year and just let the reception students (ages 4-5) just enjoy school and explore things as they would anywhere?

  3. sophieblovett

    I’m really not a fan of homework at any age, but especially for four year olds! We already start kids in formal schooling earlier than so many other countries, and as you say I think they need to have space at home for spontaneous learning, play, fun – or just relaxation. Teachers could provide ideas for optional activities perhaps if parents are stuck for ideas, but compulsory homework does seem like a bit much… X

    • That’s a great idea! Love what you said about optional activities, especially since it will also include input from us (parents) 🙂

  4. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    I hate all homework! 🙂 I didn’t like it as a kid and I don’t like when Mr. T has it!

  5. Umm, don’t get me started on the homework issue! I believe that homework is unnecessary for Primary age children and that it does little to improve learning outcomes at best. At worst it can put children off learning. Sorry, mini rant over 🙂

  6. The Vanilla Housewife

    My daughter has homework almost everyday 🙁 and problem is she is not catching up. I had no problem with my son before because he was a little ahead with the lessons. Maybe I shouldn’t have enrolled her yet. 🙁

    • Now that is plain ridiculous! Your little one is even younger than mine! She’s doing fine as she is. I think you just let her do her homework in her own pace. We shouldn’t pressure our kids, especially at such a young age. Learning should be all about fun and exploration. Let’s not put off our kids withs school by forcing them to do homework. Maybe you should just talk to her teacher? Surely, they aren’t that strict with homework at this stage?!

      • The Vanilla Housewife

        Oh they are! Everything is graded. And she had to take make-up tests for those that she missed when she was admitted to the hospital. I’m thinking about moving her to a different preschool. I don’t know. Sigh.

        • That’s really outrageous! I hope this doesn’t put off your daughter with school and maybe you should look around for schools that aren’t as rigid as her current one?

          • The Vanilla Housewife

            You know what? She likes it. She looks forward to school everyday. She thinks it’s all play and she likes her classmates which makes it hard for me to decide if I should take her out. She is learning in her own slow pace. I’ll give it a few more months and see how it goes.

          • Then it’s no problem then 🙂 As long as they (the teachers), don’t make such a big deal about how she’s behind a bit of homework, then maybe you won’t have to change schools, especially since she loves going and loves her classmates 😉

  7. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    My 5yo kindergartener already gets weekly homework and then something to review over the weekend. I don’t have a problem with it, but perhaps that’s because he enjoys it, so it’s not hard ‘work’ for us to do it? It’s mainly just reinforcement of what they’ve been learning in school. But, all kids are different and I imagine that it can be counterproductive with some x #WhatstheStory

    • I don’t mind homework for the older kids, it’s just for the young ones, I’m not sure about. As for kids though who enjoy it, that’s really great@ 🙂 x

  8. The Coffee Table Years

    I think it’s too young. As the mother of two children born in late summer, I really struggled (still struggle) with the homework. Essentially, it’s homework for the parents, who either have to ‘help’ the kids complete it or stand over them like a hawk until they do. In both cases, it’s not particularly fun or really worthwhile. And because I am a working parent, I hardly have the time during the week to tackle it, which means it all gets crammed into the weekends and then done in a huge rush.

    • As young as she is, T doesn’t like doing it either. To her drawing is something she likes doing for fun, when it’s turned into a ‘task’ though, she’ll balk. But of course, she’ll still do it, but like I said not very well. I can imagine how difficult it is for you and other working parents who don’t have the free time to stand over them and nudge them to do their homeworks.

  9. Took a quick look (5 min) look at the research and it is mixed, but generally homework seems to have a very small positive effect for primary, enjoying school is much more important, and a reasonably positive effect at secondary level, although with both the quality of the homework is important.

  10. Pecora Nera

    In Italy, even the young children receive homework, they march to school with huge rucksacks on their back.
    I remember the dreaded homework I received when I was at school, I always made sure the dog ate it.

  11. I don’t think they are too young to get homework, but I do agree that at that age they should have spontaneous fun and learning. I believe one reason why some teachers give homework is to get parents involved in their young one’s life. As someone pointed out here, we send our kids to school at a much younger age than five years old now – mostly, in part, because some parents are too busy with career and their social life. So, what is one way to get them back in their child’s life? Give the kids homework – one that involves them in their kid’s life …and bond in the process. Anyway, parents are supposed to be active partners of the teachers in educating their children. It is not only up to the teacher to teach the kids what is relevant, especially in a global community.

    Parents who do not want homework at this age should not put their child in school at that age, so they can have all the spontaneous fun and learning with their child – not just on their own. It’s as simple as that. I am a high school teacher, and I have seen many kids “detached” from their family, and they are used to it because their parents were already gone from their life at a very young age. I am also a parent who sent my children to school at the tender age of 3 or 3 1/2. I did what I had to do as a parent – interacted with them whenever I can, however I can – near or far.

  12. naptimethoughts

    They’re just prepping your four year old for the cut-throat world of first grade. My son has homework EVERY night, because when he sends his application in to Harvard (maybe Oxford– we’ll just wait to see who offers him the best scholarship) they’ll want to see how hard he worked in FIRST GRADE.

    • Every night? Oh my goodness! I guess it’s best to train them early on eh 😉

      • naptimethoughts

        Every. Night. Which really just means that I have homework Every Night.

          • naptimethoughts

            I think it’s too much too. Unfortunately the teacher says no matter how much I whine, I still have to do it.

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